District Courts are Idaho’s general jurisdiction courts for the state for both criminal and civil cases. The state is divided into seven judicial districts, each with a District Court. Forty-one District Court judges preside over cases in District Court. The judges serve a 4-year term and are elected into office. These courts decide cases of serious criminal offenses like felonies, along with civil cases where the amount is more than $10,000. More than half (59%) of District Court cases are criminal, and the rest (41%) are civil.
The types of cases heard in District Court are personal injury and property damage, automobile negligence cases, contract disputes, domestic relations cases like divorce, child custody, child abuse, and neglect. However, the majority of domestic relations matters are handled in Magistrate Court instead. Idaho’s District Court judges are also authorized to hear “hear post-conviction relief actions, in which a defendant is challenging his/her conviction or incarceration.” They also process appeals from Magistrate Courts, state agencies and review boards and even small claims court. District Courts average just under 6,000 cases per year.
The State of Idaho Judicial Branch website has a specific area for District Court information and resources. On it, there are rules for each district along with the names of each of the counties and a link to their specific website. Each District Court website has helpful resources to match individuals with attorneys, downloadable forms for filing, courthouse rules, hours of operation and tons of other information for users. Some districts have specialized divisions for things like juvenile issues, child protection, family court, and domestic abuse.
Idaho Courts use the iCourt portal for electronic filing and access to court records. This system may be used by registered users which include self-represented individuals and attorneys.